A new year means resolutions, fresh starts, and, of course, budgets.
So how do you factor in your charitable giving? To get started, consider planning your social impact budget around three points—amount, timing, and category.
1. How much? That’s the $64 question. Or more, depending on your budget. The first thing to keep in mind when setting a budget for supporting your favorite causes is that giving money isn’t the only way to do good. If your wallet is tight, if your corporate budget is lean, or if your interests are varied, consider other social impact activities such as volunteering, serving on a board, donating gently-used clothing, purchasing products that support a cause, marketing your favorite charities through social media, and more. It all counts. Set your 2017 social impact budget based on what makes sense for you and your family or your company. Remember, the best way to make a difference is to first understand the full range of social impact activities--the 10 Ways to Do Good--and be able to identify those you prefer. Then, you will understand how engaging in a combination of your preferred social impact activities based on your own Social Impact Personality Type, or your company's Social Impact Culture Type, will make a positive difference in others’ lives as well as your own.
2. How often? Charities are looking for support all year round. The vast majority of charitable contributions are made during the holiday season, but you don’t have to do it that way. Consider spreading your giving throughout the year. Your tax deduction is unaffected, and you’ll be giving the organizations you support a much-appreciated boost to cash flow.
3. Who gets it? Most people support a wide variety of charities. To see where your dollars, time, and energy are going, try sorting the organizations you support into the major categories of social impact:
- Community Development
- Arts & Culture
- Children & Families
- Health & Life Sciences
Keep in mind that religious giving frequently falls into one of these five categories, depending on your gift’s purpose.
Budgeting for social impact can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. You’ll love watching the numbers come alive as you celebrate the causes you love the most.